Wednesday, February 25, 2015

325. Hooray for Hollywood! 40s AND 50s MOVIE MAGAZINES

Just  perfect for my post-Oscar fever! These stash of U.S. movie magazines from the last 40s and 50s were just given to by my longtime antique dealer. Talk about loyalty rewards!! They come from a collection of a female fan who's into Hollywood, its movies and its stars. Represented are such classic mags as Photoplay (established in 1911, one of the very first fan magazines), Screen Stories, Motion Picture (also started in 1911) and Movie Story.
Many familiar movies are featured here, including synopses, cast and crew, many now considered classics. The latest "chismis" from Hollywood, dished by Hedda Hopper and cohorts are constant features of these magazines. There are tearsheets of James Dean's "East of Eden", "Rebel", "Giant", Garland's "A Star is Born", Deborah Kerr's "The King and I" , William Holden's "From Here to Eternity", and many more.You would also known why the period was considered the golden age of movie glitz and glamor: there are many colored pages of veteran stars--from Jane Russell, Vivien Leigh, Shirley Temple, to Roy Rogers, Laurence Olivier, Joan Crawford--to the up-and coming ones--like the young Robert Wagner, Liz Taylor, Rock Hudson, Marlon Brando, Tab Hunter, Debra Paget, Doris Day, Shelley Winters, Pier Angeli, and Marilyn Monroe.
Just look at the very young Ronald Reagan above--the future U.S. president, in a beefcake pose with his leading lady. Below, is the mild-mannered looking Joanne Crawford, soon to be the evil 'Mommie Dearest ' in the 1981 movie. And look--there's even a double spread ad for "Demetrius and the Gladiators", a staple TV movie during Holy Week!!
Some magazines have special features tucked between the covers like this rare Marilyn Monroe 1954 collectible calendar. It's a collectible within a collectible.
I thought I'd won my own Oscar after getting these magazines for free; the movie stories, pictures and features on these magazines are sufficient enough to give me a semblance of the Hollywood experience, allowing me to peek behind-the-scenes, in front of the camera and into the private lives of glamorous movie stars. Once again, I would like to thank the Academy.....

Thursday, February 19, 2015

324. Lessons Learned from a Pioneer: DANIEL BOONE SCHOOL BINDER

Daniel Boone was an adventure series aired on NBC (from 1964-70) based on the life of the pioneer in Kentucky territory in the 1770s. It starred Fess Parker who, ten years earlier portrayed Davy Crockett on the “Disneyland”TV series. Many materials were produced and copyrighted by 20th Century-Fox TV.
An unusual item from the Daniel Boone era was this 3-ring plastic school binder I got pre-ebay, from the mail order auction, Hake’s Americana & Collectibles. Made of tan plastic, the front cover features the silkscreened photographic likeness of Fess Parker. Other than that, it is your typical binder with a sleeve inside to hold your various paper items. With your Daniel Boone cooncap and binder, you’re all set to conquer new frontiers in school

Saturday, February 7, 2015

323. Almost Victorian: VINTAGE PAPER CUT-OUTS

In one of my morning pickings, I chanced upon these 3 paper-cut-outs of religious characters under a heap of paper items. The cut-outs reminded me of  Victorian "scrap"--those  colored printed papers and usually embossed die cuts that were used in Victorian times by both children and adults for various crafting and scrapbooking activities. Scraps first appeared i the 19th century, sold in sheets connected with small strips to join them together. Many people group their collections by themes or special occasions with verses and poems. These local scraps were probably hand-cut from religious prints, and not estampitas (holy cards). Cardboard easels have been added on at the back to make the figures stand--maybe for play purposes. These vintage ephemera are not worth much, but I am keeping them anyway, reminder of an age when people saw value in everything--including paper scraps!

Saturday, January 31, 2015

322. When The World Went Mod: TWIGGY DOLL

The first Mattel doll made after a real person was "Twiggy", first created in 1967, based on the looks of the top British model, the skinny-reed-thin Twiggy, Lesley Lawson in real life. Twiggy shared the same body size as Francie and Casey, so they could swap clothes. Twiggy's trademark big wide eyes were captured in the doll made from the same head mold as Casey. She was blonde, had heavier eye make up, rooted lashes, a Twist 'n Turn waist and bendable legs. She lasted a year in production, but the real Twiggy's career was much longer--she dabbled in theater, TV, film, singing and hosting--but never losing in touch with the fashion world in which she remains an icon.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

321. Nurse, I Need To Go!: PORCELAIN BEDPAN

One of the oddest things I found in my scrounging expeditions was this porcelain bedpan, in pristine condition. It is clearly an old piece, and a quick online search yielded a bit of info about this vintage hospital collectible that has the potential to become a "conversation piece". 
The slipper bed pan is passed under the patient in front, between the legs, and comes with a handle for easy retrieval. 
The British maker, S. Maw Son & Sons, was active from 1860s-75 as a medical instrument manufacturer in London England. The firm was renamed S. Maw, Son and Sons after 1918, which dates this bedpan from 1918-1920s. By 1940, the company evolved into Maws Pharmacy Supplies Ltd., based in Barnet, England. Hospital collectibles are not exactly hot items purused by private collectors--but I'll make an exception this case--as I may someday make use of it!!

Monday, January 5, 2015

320. Cheap but Charming: CELLULOID DOLLS

The invention of "celluloid" -- a kind of plastic created from wood prpducts in 1863--put an end to breakable dolls of china, bisque and porcelain.It was a popular material for a wide range of manufactured items---such as jewelry, fashion accessories, and of course, dolls. Beginning in the 1930s cheap dolls were moulded from this new plastic, and these small examples--no more than 3 inches in height--attest to the versatility of the material. These souvenir dolls representing natives of countries around teh world, date from the 50s/60s, and they were all old store stock. They are strung with elastic, and many come complete with moving, googlie eyes.
Dolls such as these were also given away as party favors, or as prizes in fiesta events. Some made great cake toppers. They made great collectibles for kids who aimed to complete their "nations of the world costume collection" with every purchase. Some of these dolls that you see here, are dressed also as harlequins and carnival waifs.  Celluloid, however, was not the perfect plastic, since it is flammable and deteriorates easily if exposed to moisture, also prone to cracking and yellowing. Nevertheless, toymakers capitalized on the new material, by mass-producing charming items that never fail to delight kids--just like these mid-century dollies, who ontinue to find favor among toy collectors!

Thursday, December 25, 2014


Now here's a tiny trinket box--with dimensions of just  4 in. x 6 in. x 2.5 in.--made of narra, decorated with a relief carving of a farmer taking rest under a mango tree from his day's toil. Across the dirst road stands his nipa hut, shaded by a coconut tree, and flanked by a haystack. Looming in the horizon is a mountain. Souvenir carvings bearing Filipiniana motifs such as this were much in demand by tourists--and this box was especially made to cater to such market. Handicraft centers in Manila, as well as in Pampanga (for the U.S. market ) thrived till the 70s--offering similar items as monkeypod carvings, wall plaques (featuring farmers, dancers), ethnic busts, carved Filipinana chests (our versions of camphor chests) as well as lazy Susans. Today, a few shops exists, selling cottage industry products along the streets of Ermita, and in Angeles City, Pampanga--but the quality has really matched those made in the 50s, when even small items such as this trinket box, were handcarved with fine details, and finished so handsomely.